Darwin's OrchidsThen and Now

Darwin's OrchidsThen and Now

Retha Edens-Meier and Peter Bernhardt

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780226044910

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


A quorum of scientists, conducting field and laboratory research on orchid pollination in eleven countries, offer reviews and results to celebrate the 150th anniversary of On The Various Contrivances By Which British And Foreign Orchids Are Fertilised By Insects, And On The Good Effects Of Intercrossing (1862). Authors of the first ten chapters follow research on the pollination and breeding systems of the same orchid lineages that interested Darwin, including temperate and tropical species. Authors on the last two chapters provide information on the floral attractants and flowering systems of orchids using protocols and technologies unavailable during Darwin’s lifetime. The functional structure of orchid flowers, the chemistry of their fragrances, the behaviour of their pollinators, the effects of seasonal changes on flowering periods, and the role of genetics in determining their genealogy are addressed to show how the study of orchid evolution has expanded and diversified since Darwin (1862, 1877). As so many orchid species are currently threatened or endangered, conservation issues are discussed in terms of reproductive success.

Table of Contents

Part I Darwin Shares His Orchids

One Darwin’s Orchids (1862, 1877)

Peter Bernhardt and Retha Edens-Meier

Part II Darwin’s Orchids of the English and Eurasian Countrysides

Two Darwin on the Pollination of Orchis:

Giovanni Scopece, Salvatore Cozzolino and Amots Dafni

Three Ophrys Pollination

Nicolas J. Vereecken and Ana Francisco

Part III Darwin and His Colleagues: Orchid Evolution in the Southern Hemisphere

Five Phylogeny of Orchidaceae Tribe Diurideae and Its Implications for the Evolution of Pollination Systems

Peter H. Weston, Andrew J. Perkins, James O. Indsto, and Mark A. Clements

Seven The Sun Orchids (Thelymitra) Then and Now

Retha Edens-Meier and Peter Bernhardt

Part IV Darwin and His Colleagues: Orchid Evolution in the Tropics

Eight Pollination Biology and Evolutionary History of Angraecoid Orchids

Claire Micheneau, Jacques Fournel and Thierry Pailler

Part V Extravagant Architecture: The Diandrous Orchids

Ten Pollination and Floral Evolution of Slipper Orchids (Subfamily Cypripedioideae)

Retha Edens-Meier, Yi-bo Luo, Robert Pemberton and Peter Bernhardt

Part VI Overview: The Influence of Color Perception and Climate Change

Twelve Impacts of Extreme Weather Spells on Flowering Phenology of Wild Orchids in Guangxi, Southwestern China

Hong Liu, Chang-Lin Feng, Xiao-Qing Xie, Wuying Lin, Zheng-Hai Deng, Xin-Lian Wei, Shi-Yong Liu and Yi-Bo Luo